USA Restaurant Index

To visit a restaurant review, simply click on the restaurant name below and you will be magically transported to that review. Restaurants rated “25” or higher are noted in capital letters.


Bisbee: Cafe Cornucopia

Chandler: Chino Bandito | CYCLO | In-N-Out Burger | The Keg Steakhouse | Lee’s Sandwiches |

Gilbert: Joe’s Real BBQ | Mint Thai Cafe |

Grand Canyon: El Tovar |

Phoenix: Delux Burger | Hap’s Pit Barbecue | Honey Bear’s Barbecue |Pane Bianco | PIZZERIA BIANCO |Richardson’s Cuisine of New Mexico|

Scottsdale: Butters Pancakes & Cafe | Malee’s Thai Bistro | Patsy Grimaldi’s Pizzeria | Pinnacle Peak Patio |

Seligman: The Roadkill Cafe

Tempe: | Cafe Lalibela | Cornish Pasty Company | Sushi Eye |

Tucson: El Guero Canelo | BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs |

Winslow: The Turquoise Room |


Big Sur: Nepenthe Restaurant | SIERRA MAR AT THE POST RANCH INN |

Cambria (1): Indigo Moon Cafe, Wine & Cheese Shop

Carmel-by-the-sea (1) : CASANOVA RESTAURANT

La Jolla (2): NINE-TEN RESTAURANT AND BAR | Piatti Ristorante and Bar

La Quinta (1): Shanghai Reds at the Fisherman’s Market & Grill

Malibu (1): Geoffrey’s Malibu

Montecito (1): TRATTORIA MOLLIE |

Monterey (1): Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar

Mountain View (1): Spice Islands Cafe

Newport Beach (1): PIZZERIA MOZZA

Palm Desert (2): AC3 Restaurant + BarGrill-A-Burger

Palm Springs (6): Cheeky’s | JAKE’S | LULU CALIFORNIA BISTRO | Sherman’s Deli & Bakery | Spencer’s Restaurant | Workshop Kitchen + Bar |

Placerville (1): Chuck’s Restaurant

Roseville (1): The Squeeze Inn


San Francisco (2): Crab House at Pier 39 | DESTINO NUEVO LATINO BISTRO |

Santa Barbara (3): La Super Rica Taqueria | Norton’s Pastrami & Deli | Opal Restaurant & Bar |

Santa Clara: Parcel 104 |


Pueblo (2): Gray’s Coors Tavern | Shamrock Brewing Co.


Savannah (1): The Lady & Sons


Arlington Heights (1): | JOHNNIE’S BEEF |

Chicago (9): Al’s #1 Beef | The Billy Goat Tavern | DAVID BURKE’S PRIMEHOUSE | FRONTERA GRILL | GARRETT POPCORN SHOP | Portillo’s Hot Dogs | THE PURPLE PIG | Superdawg Drive In| TOPOLOBAMPO |

Kildeer: Bacchus Nibbles |

Lake Zurich: Culver’s |Gino’s East of Chicago | Hackney’s |

Mundelein: Gale Street Inn |

Niles: Graziano’s Brick Oven Pizza | Kimchy Cabana |

Wheeling: Bob Chinn’s Crab House | Weber Grill |


Osceola: Maid Rite



Kansas City: Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue |


Kennebunkport: Mabel’s Lobster Claw | THE CLAM SHACK |



Bedford: Steve’s House of Pizza



Lexington: Mario’s Italian Restaurant


Kansas City: ARTHUR BRYANT’S | Gates Bar B Q | The Savoy Grill |

Ozark: Lambert’s Cafe II |

St Louis: Super Smokers |


Las Vegas: Amlee Gourmet Restaurant| Bellagio Buffet | BOUCHON | Burger Bar Las Vegas |Carnegie Deli | Cathay House | China Poblano | Fatburger | Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain |IL MULINO NEW YORK | Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab | LAWRY’S: THE PRIME RIB | Lindo Michoacan | LOTUS OF SIAM | Memphis Championship Barbecue | Mesa Grill | Ping Pang Pong |RISTORANTE B&B | Satay Malaysian Grille |Spiedini |


El Reno: Johnnie’s Grill |

South Carolina:

Charlotte: Butcher & Bee | THE HOMINY GRILL |MAGNOLIAS |

Mount Pleasant: Melvin’s Legendary Bar-B-Q |

North Charleston: EVO

Sullivan’s Island: Poe’s Tavern |


Austin: Contigo | Gourdough’s Public House | Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken | Lucy’s Fried Chicken | Via 313 |

Dallas: Celebration | El Ranchito |

Fort Worth: Kincaid’s Hamburgers

Lockhart: Black’s Barbecue

84 Comments on “USA Restaurant Index”

  1. Well as you may know, this is National Hamburger Day! but how bland does that sound?!
    I did some research and found that “back when” in ’17, former Mayor Berry did something right by declaring June 16 as Green Chile Cheeseburger Day, e.g. On the other hand, these Local Folks, in an undated webpage noted their observance of a 4th Annual Green Chile Cheese Burger Day. I called and found out that their GCCB Day celebration will be once again held on Oct. 28th this year!
    My work is done here/am dropping the mic as it were, as I’ll pass on getting the GCCB made into a national Day of reverence to anyone herein who Nob-Hobs with our congressional delegation to at least accomplish something.

  2. While on a recent trip to the 49th State, on the land based portion of our trip – We found this most worthy version of chicken-fried steak and eggs at the Noisy Goose in Palmer Alaska.

    While a bit far from New Mexico to qualify for SR Plata’s “CFSTrail” it would easily (IMHO) rate among the best!

    1. The first half of our Alaskan trip was aboard the Northern Song, Alaska Sea Adventures 8 Passenger yacht that provides small group or family customized trips in Southeast Alaska’s inside passage.

      We expected to have a week filled with spectacular scenes of humpback whales, killer whales, dolphins eagles and bears. They delivered as we experienced all that and more.

      Before the trip we had heard good things about the comfort of the Northern Song and the professionalism and hospitality of the crew as well as the quality of the food they served during each voyage.

      We were looking forward to a great photographic trip and it was nice that excellent food, including the wonderful seafood of the area would sustain us during this adventurous week.

      What we didn’t expect was that our bar for “excellent food’ for the future would be raised to such Denali high levels!

      The chef – Therese and her steward Ella – provided Michelin 3-star, James Beard award winning quality meals 3 times a day!

      Fresh bread was made on board the ship daily. At leas 2 containers of of different styles of rising bread were working in the kitchen daily.

      Each morning the aroma of a variety of fresh baked scones or muffins greeted the waking passengers. Any leftovers (of which there were few) were available on the counter – just in case you needed a mid-morning snack or 2nd breakfast.

      Lunch was served each day and these were well balanced meals which would have stood on their own as dinner entree’s in many restaurants back home.

      Early on in the trip (usually right after lunch) sensible thoughts of the benefits of maybe skipping a meal now and then would enter our heads, along with some discussions. Thankfully these were quickly overruled due to our fear of missing out on something great or by the curiosity and anticipation of what and how Therese was going to top that last meal!

      All of the dinners were 3 course – usually starting with homemade soups or fresh salads and ending with a creative desert. The choice of desert for the last dinner aboard the boat ended up being a blind selection of a lottery of choices (1 from each passenger) as to what that desert should be. No restrictions were given!

      Now think about that – here we are: 8 passengers, aboard a ship, somewhere along the inside passage – with the chef having no chance to go to a store, or knock on a neighbors door for a missing ingredient! She trusted her skills and the contents of her small kitchen to be able to meet or closely meet that request. We had no doubts about the result of that choice (pictured below).

      The lunch and dinner entree’s each day mostly consisted of local seafood – including halibut cheeks, smoked white king salmon, rockfish, black cod, spot shrimp and dungeness crab (the later two fresh caught from the Northern Song in pots thrown from stern by the passengers)!

      Some of the cuts of fish on board for this trip included types such as cheeks and tips – were not something most of us had heard of or ever had before. Captain Dennis’s early career as a fisherman brings much knowledge and insight into the mealtime conversations (usually surrounding the food we were about to consume) and we really learned a lot from him!

      Just to break up this seafood gluttony-fest, two meat themed meals were squeezed in at the end of the trip: one a lunch of pulled pork sandwiches ( pork butt smoked in a smoker on deck by the captain) and another, lunch on our last day as we headed back to port, of an Alaskan version of a steak sandwich (on fresh made foccacia bread). I assume these were served to ease us back into a lower 48 state of mind (stomach) .

      This was as much a culinary cruise as it was a wildlife expedition and we really appreciate the efforts of the Captain and his excellent crew of 3!

      What a fulfilling (in more ways than one) trip!

      Below find a link to a gallery of iphone pictures of many of the delights prepared by Chef Therese.
      Photos taken by my wife Soozi, my brother Ken and his wife Susan and myself!

      1. Magnificent photography, Bruce!…and what a fantastic experience you had in Alaska.

        Can you schedule an upcoming Friends of Gil (FOG) venture aboard the Northern Song?

  3. Sr Plata in AZ had a Great Burger of the month at, course Lush Burger in Scottsdale! We try to come often and I will report out on their Special Burger.

  4. Baah Humbug!!!!
    I hate the charitable solicitations that tend to inundate us this time of year per knowing I (we) have KinFolk upon whom I’m obligated to shell out $$$. With that sentiment in mind, pardon me for noting that for several years, our Local/ABQian GastroGuru has laboriously volunteered as a judge having to taste YumYums (soups n desserts) at the annual RoadRunner Souper Bowl fundraiser. Lest you are not able to attend this coming Jan. 26,2019, you can always share your Blessings right now here or for WHATEVER Org floats your boat!
    FOR YOUR GENEROSITY: let me share these Yummies especially as you may be obligated to bring a tasty treat to a Holyday Gathering in the days ahead:
    OMG! Break out your old Fondue Pot of the ’60s-’70s for Chocolate Covered Bacon!
    ~~~ Say Hey! How about donating for Free? If you have wisdom of ABQ and Environs, you can share your hospitable talent by becoming a Volunteer for VisitABQ OMG, I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now! Come on and join us!

  5. Gil,

    Soozi and I are in Santa Barbara again and on only our second night here came to discover a gem of a restaurant a bit south of here in Oxnard called Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine (Moqueca is Portugese for stew) . There is a second location in Thousand Oaks.

    The Oxnard restaurant is located in the Channel Island Harbor and there are great views of the boat traffic from it’s 2nd story location. They offer Brazilian cusine and specialize in family dishes from Espirito Santo. According to their website Espirito Santo is a small Brazilian state, located in the east portion of the southeast region of the country.

    We were a group of 5 and enjoyed quite a few of their offerings.

    To start we ordered an appetizer of Quibes which was minced beef and crushed bulgur wheat mixed with mint leaves and green onions. Served with honey mustard sauce. After the first bite I knew tonight’s meal was going to be special!

    Some of us enjoyed Caipirinha’s (supposedly the national cocktail of Brazil). I certainly enjoyed mine.

    For our entree’s 3 of our party shared a giant serving of panelo de barro (clay pot dishes) in which the food is both prepared and served in. All the dishes in this category are described as “…a fresh and rich tomato sauce made to order with an addition of onions, garlic, cilantro, squeezed limes, urucum (Brazilian seasoning) and a splash of coconut milk served with a side of rice.” One great advantage to the clay pot vessel is that the food is served steaming hot and it stays that way throughout the meal.

    Their selection was a Moqueca de peixe com camarao (whitefish moqueca with large shrimp).”

    Urucum is described on their site as “Brazilian Prickly red fruit. Inside the fruit the dark red seeds are used to make the “coloral”, a traditional powder used as a coloring and tasting seasoning. The “urucum” is rich in proteins, iron, calcium and vitamins. It’s recommended as treatment for high cholesterol, hypertension, digestive and skin problems. The Cosmetic Industry also uses the “urucum” to produce beauty and tanning products. The “urucum” is responsible for the exotic color and rich taste of the “moqueca”.

    Another of our party chose a single serving of Moqueca de peixe which is the same as the above without the shrimp.

    As I usually tend to wander down my own path and knowing that we would probably share I chose another option ordering a brazillian strogonoff – described as “beef or chicken cooked in a heavy cream sauce with tomatoes, mushroom, olives and onions served with white rice or (fettuccine pasta) and topped with shoestring potatoe chips. I chose chicken and the rice!

    All these choices were delicious!

    This was an unplanned visit and I must say after being told that we were going to a Brazilian restaurant – I had visions of various cuts of beef on skewers being paraded around the room a la Tuncano’s . Boy was I pleasantly disappointed!

    I definitely am looking forward to future visits to this venue.

      1. And yet we find another gem in Santa Barbara – Milk and Honey Tapas

        My only regret is that it took a lifetime (almost 30 years) of visits to this city before finding this restaurant (11 years in a row voted “Best Tapas” by the Santa Barbara Independent ) and it’s sister location Alcazar (20 years on Cliff Drive). Amazing longevity when you see the turnover that occurs in this town especially along the State street corridor!

        On our first visit we tried

        Date with a Pig
        Battered Sweet Potato Fries
        PB&J Sliders
        Manchego y Membrillo
        Carne con Crema

        All were delicious and the portion size of the PB&J Sliders, the Carne con Crema and the Sweet Potato Fries tapas were entree worthy!

        Our only regret was that we needed more friends at the table so we could sample more of the menu items.

  6. Some trivia in the shadow of Cinco de Mayo for when your server brings your Margarita: ask them what is the name of the President of Mexico who “brought” the celebration about ( to be later taken advantage of by beer distributors amping up business between St. Paddy’s Day and the 4th! In addition, if there is one of these in the guacomole, ask what it is called.
    – For you travelers herein, do you see that in Mexico? elsewhere in the US? A barista (pardon the mixing of languages) at who teased me about my Spanglish, asked if I knew what it was and thus told me it was an aleta. Per my perplexed look, she laughingly said…. aleta de tiburon (a shark’s fin). Alas, I was too dumbstruck to ask its origin, but now wonder if it probably had something to do with there most often being a variety of fish dishes typically offered in Mexican (vs New Mexican) restaurants.
    – RE the previously mentioned Lobster Roll at Red Lobster: They brought it back with mayo! Alas, while Kudos it is served in the traditional New England (hot dog) bun that is shaved on the sides for a buttery grilling, it is so so for $8.95! RE the price, it is a mini-bun and there is some shrimp filller! Elswise, I’ve read the price of lobster might be going up.

  7. Have you always wanted to name the “101 Dishes that changed America”? Write out your list and what you imagine to be their provenance to compare!
    Ya know, I’m sure there are other versions of how/where The French Dip came into existence vs my FAV and some of Y’all might have a different version or take umbrage for where Caesar’s Salad is posited as being invented beside TJ, Mexico of all places and some may deny Ignacio Anaya his place in the sun, but if ya have a few minutes to be distracted for pure enjoyment e.g. during commercials for The Big Bang Theory, Y’all will hopefully find this of interest including where some claim the Reuben was invented…I would’ve said NYC! (For newbies to the Blog, also consider RE Reubens: )
    – Alas! My Public Apologies to Red Lobster for my slighting their current (mini) version of Lobstaah Rolls which they are indeed serving as originally fashioned, albeit not what I grew up with and loci-centrically espoused.
    Oh Oh….as ya read about Carpaccio, Y’all might enjoy listening to this (as I’ve suggested elsewhere, for those of Y’all who are dyslexic: )

    1. BOTVOLR, thanks for the link to “101 Dishes that Changed America” – as a long time food researcher, I was familiar with the details for most of them but I found it very interesting nonetheless. Although sometimes shrouded in time, the origin of favorite American foods is valuable information and our food heritage is important. I’ve also eaten most of them and I’ll bet “8” has too!

  8. Gil,

    We are just back from another visit to Santa Barbara and have a new recommendation for you: Hoffmann Brat Haus.

    They have a huge selection of brats! 24 different sausages listed under 5 categories: Haus, Traditional, Vegetarian, Exotic and Extreme Exotic.

    Of course my inaugural selection was from the Extreme category – Boar. (all of the servers favorite) and Soozi had the Thuringer Brat from the traditional line-up. Both were excellent. The Boar was delicious and a bit spicy; the Thuringer, also extremely tasty, was made from a “100 year old German recipe”. You get to choose 2 toppings from a list of six. I chose cooked sauerkraut and caramelized onions. The buns were fresh and very good and served the sausage and toppings very well.

    They also took the trouble to provide suggested beer pairings for each of the 24 brats on the menu from their extensive selection of draft and bottled European beers. Germany, Belgum and the Netherlands are well represented.

    As a side we shared a Bucket of Garlic Belgian Fries – described as thick cut Belgian Fries seasoned with Garlic (lots!) and Parmesan Cheese. Crisp on the outside tender within. Very good! You can also choose 3 dipping sauces from a list of 10.

    Stepping off of busy State street into Hoffmann’s Brat Haus is a bit like transporting yourself to Europe. We enjoyed sitting on the second floor near the bar and listening to sounds of the street below mixed with the voices of a few german who were sitting on the balcony.

    The Brat Haus joins my growing list of must go-to places in Santa Barbara!

    1. If your mother-in-law is only half as sweet and charming as Soozi, it’s no wonder you visit Santa Barbara so often. Well, that and all the great restaurants in one of the country’s most beautiful vacation destinations. The Hoffmann Braut Haus sounds terrific.

      I’m glad to see you describe Thuringer as “extremely tasty.” The second time I met my in-laws, they took me to a Bohemian restaurant in Chicago where I ordered Thuringer. My father-in-law’s reaction: “You ordered Thuringer! Why would anyone order Thuringer?” Obviously my food choice didn’t quickly endear me to him. Over time he figured out “this guy is really different” (at least in what I order at restaurants) and we became very close.

      I’d love to hear your opinion of the fries at Pete’s Frites in Nob Hill. They’re thrice cooked and sound very much like the Garlic Belgian Fries you experienced.

  9. Hmm….are we seeing this regarding “chains” but also “locals” in Albuquerque for the same dynamics. Are we at or reaching a tipping point of too many restaurants?

    Here’s an article that starts out with….
    “Customers have been walking away from sit-down chains as convenience and affordability take precedence….”

    – Just pondering on a Sunday Morn as a change of pace from The Bobbleheads making something out of nothing or otherwise microising the zits of Hillary and The Donald.

  10. What??? You are going to use orange tiles on your roof and serve 28 Flavors of ice cream including something called Pistachio way outside of town on the highways? Who ever heard of such a thing?
    RIP! Told ya it would never last!

  11. Bob, I could not have said it better, you are colorful and to the point! Thanks for the links to potential fast food for our beloved ‘Mexican’ city where a passport will get you a Christmas Burrito with our smiles nearby. Happy New Years. From the Land of Enchantment…

    1. Yo Sr Plata. Thank you for your astute observation about my most recent missive. Indeed, as always, I try my best to make succinctly epigrammatic Comments…ya right. Otherwise, what fun would it be to just parsimoniously reflect: “What the freek is going on here”
      Seriously, it blew my mind that the article wasn’t touting NM (with all due respect to Mexican) cuisine, especially given the pressure NM chile growers are under, e.g. from foreign imports, difficulty with the scarcity of pickers, etc. Seems the farmers’ org might have tried to incentivize restauranteurs RE expansionist endeavors.

      1. ~~ The Pueblo Slopper ~~
        Recently I ranted about the apparent(?) lack nationwide of restaurants featuring New Mexican fare versus the many Mexican ones doing that. On the other hand, there is, by/for some, a testiness about Colorado’s efforts to claim fame re New Mexico’s GCCB. Rather than shy away, I just searched, albeit only a tad, to educate myself RE what, for example, is their infamous, Pueblo Slopper. What is that all about? Has anyone dared to have one and care to share? In reality, must admit, it looks/sounds interesting e.g. Is it time, ignoring the spelling, that someplace offers one in NM? RE the knife and fork: again, see here: if ya missed it.

      2. While I didn’t click your tinyurls…

        I have family in Pueblo and therefore have had the slopper. I’ve tried both the Gray’s Coors Tavern and The Sunset Grill versions – the two places in Pueblo who reputably have the best ones in town (maybe the only ones?).

        I like it. It’s a different way to eat a GCCB. One has a really great patty and the other has really good chile and I can’t recall which is which (it’s been awhile since I had one – gonna have to change that, I guess). At the risk of being flogged on this blog, I actually like Pueblo Chile. I prefer Lemitar and other NM locations, but Pueblo Chile can certainly hold its own in the piquancy and flavor departments.

        I’ve made them at home and it is very delicious. Of course I used Lemitar Chile when I made them, but otherwise they were the same!

        Also, another Pueblo food item is the grinder (Italian sausage sandwich). Passkey has a good one, and some other place that just popped up that my brother says blows Passkey away. I’ll have to try that next time as well.

  12. Caveat: A Rambling: When Gov. Huckabee ran for President, he started out noting the problem of living in our “bubbles” and thus possibly having little empathy, respect, etc. for/with what’s going on in the world (bubbles) of others…which thus might weaken the country. It reminded me of a New Year’s eve when a well known, staid, non-cable TV news anchor hosted ‘ringing in the New Year’ from Times Sq. After the ball dropped and a commercial, he was back on set in a turtle neck (talk about dating things….LOL)…N.B: he had doffed his freekin tux! to continue blabbing. Per my thin skin, I took umbrage; fired off a “scathing” email to the network for his disrespecting us in the rest of the USA waiting to also (formally) ring in the “New Year! Like NYC is the geo-center of the US?…LOL! All this is my loquacious way of confessing my own geo-centricity RE what’s happening in the world re Mexican/New Mexican Cuisine…Except for CO now claiming green chile, others don’t appear to include Chile. Apparently, we are not the center of the universe and I thus got clued in to why tourists ask me, sometimes almost conspiratorially, “Where do The Locals like to go for the best “Mexican” (in contrast to “New Mexican”) food!!!
    29 Mexican restaurants in gritty GA! What’s with that? (Back in the day of early oughts with rampant killings in Mexico, Atlanta was noted for being The major distribution hub of drugs from Mexico. Perhaps some Folk retooled themselves into the restaurant trade?) Elsewise: Hmmm….the places listed in the list avoid locating New Mexico. Did the previously home-owned Garduno’s miss the “expansion” boat for New Mexican cuisine restaurants (albeit they had the first New Mexican restaurant in Vegas at the Maloof’s Fiesta Casino and one in Phoenix(?). Twister’s has several locally owned sites and recently ventured into CO. Bottom line: Given the proliferation of Mexican cuisine, why is not New Mexican fare a national restaurant cuisine ala red/green chile and especially given that several chain grocery stores have recently begun setting out GC roasters across the fruited (what does that mean, anyway?) plain. Well, I guess we just got to face the same old same old like this week: (Gawd! I hope those agents weren’t some of our high school dropouts!)
    – Tips of the Day
    1) Ya should’ve seen the sunset on 8/13
    2) Buy two jars of these: Munch-crunch a cold one now. Keep the other jar intact unless we have a year lacking a Green Chile Harvest!!!

  13. Many Folk apparently think of beer as a food to the point of considering themselves a Mucky-Muck, aka a Cerevisaphile (Cer-a-vehs-a-file) aficionado of beers and ales, 2.a devotee to the decoction of barley infused with hops and fermented, imbiber of beer on the highest order, bordering on devotion, who pursues the very finest in malted beverages.
    Ramping things up to the Sommelier level, we have the Cicerone: one who possesses the knowledge and skills to guide those interested in beer culture, including its historic and artistic aspects!!!!
    Me? Just like to quench my thirst especially if dining on New Mexican, Polish, and Irish Yum Yums. Could be a PBR or Carlsberg! Elsewise, prefer a Margarita or White Russian.
    Speaking of Margaritas: we really need to get Big G involved in legislation (given they are doing nothing else) regarding this!!!!: Do you know the def of “margaritaceous”? I.e. having to do with margaritas???? Nope!!! 1. resembling mother-of-pearl; pearly!!!! What’s with that?
    Oh Oh…why am I blabbing? What does Thrillist tell us is the best beer bar in NM (or elsewhere, lest you be soon vacationing)?
    Salud! on this Cinco de Mayo!

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